Feel free to smack your head right now and wonder why no one in your housing office thought of this: a chest of drawers with a built-in desk that slides out of one side when a
student wants to work at it and then slides back in afterward to make space for friends—or that stays hidden away for students who do all their work in the library or on their beds.
Luckily, two staff members at the University of Cincinnati did think of it—Todd Duncan, director of housing and food services, and Carl Dieso, associate director of housing—and the university worked out a deal with Blockhouse Contract Furniture to get the combined unit into production. Buying one piece of furniture instead of two saved about $200 per bed, or $90,000, in the renovation of the university’s Morgens Hall.
The university’s deal with the manufacturer will also make the combination unit available to other institutions, with 4 percent of net sales revenue being turned over to the university. In addition to the desk, the unit has three drawers (the top one can be secured with a padlock), three electrical outlets, two USB ports, and a built-in surge protector.